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Iron Maiden Promo Takes Flight With Bird Studios

Animation production company, Bird Studios, has completed the latest promo for veteran rock band Iron Maiden.
Scripted by Howard Greenhalgh, ‘Different World’ is a bleak take on the Nature vs Science story and features an animated Bruce Dickinson, as he struggles to out-run the evil ruling power.
Built entirely in Maya and with a running time of over four minutes, it could be argued that the music plays second fiddle to the story that unfolds within Bird Studios’ detailed and complex work which takes the viewer on a roller coaster journey.
Bird explained: “The treatment from Howard [Greenhalgh] was extremely detailed – almost a film script – and required a very narrative led piece which gave us enormous scope to work with. We needed to present a grim and dark vision of the world, and create scenes that would hold the viewer as a‘real’ action thriller would do.”
Reminiscent of ‘Soylent Green’, ‘The Matrix’ and even bits of early ‘StarWars’, ‘Different World’ opens on a massive Eddie (Maiden’s archangel ‘mascot’), holding a planet in the palm of his claw. The camera then zooms into that world where Ian Bird and team have created a harsh, monochromatic and incredibly detailed cityscape, which seems to be growing before our eyes.
Howard Greenhalgh, Director, commented: “Whenever I walk through the door at Bird Studios, Ian and his team always know there is a challenge coming up. The brief was to create a future world that would (courtesy of Eddie) destroy itself. I referenced stylistic movies such as ‘Metropolis’, and ‘Soylent Green’, but stressed that we had to create a contemporary version of these, not simply emulate them. I hadn’t originally intended Bruce to be the star of the video, but the animators thought they could deliver him as
the protagonist and I think it really helps the audience (fans) to engage with the storyline, and I’m sure Bruce had a laugh when he saw his awesome agility (although he’s one hell of an athlete in real life). The guys at Sanctuary gave us enormous freedom to ‘go with it’. This kind of confidence is very rare in these controlling days within our industry. They wanted the next step from ‘Wildest Dreams’ – the previous promo from Ian and his team – and Bird Studios have pulled off a miracle to deliver so much in so little time. Not just a small step, in my opinion they jumped a whole staircase.”
Beautifully paced, the film consists of a number of complex shots, such as Dickinson throwing himself through a tiny hatch, before the camera pulls away and we see him swinging 1000ft off the ground, clinging to the side of a colossal skyscraper, then falling to bounce in the top of a Zeppelin air ship. Equally impressive is the level of detail and texture within the piece – as in one particular instance where the camera is speeding over an open sea.
‘Different World’ was produced using MAYA 8.0, Shake, Z-Brush, Paint and Photoshop and it took the animation team 8 weeks to complete.
Taken from the album ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’, ‘Different World’ will have its worldwide release on MTV and Karrang! on 1 November 2006.
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